Renaissance Club chief urges fans to support Genesis Scottish Open
Golf fans reluctant to accept The Renaissance Club as a new home for the Genesis Scottish Open have been urged to see its transformation for themselves in July.
The plea was made by CEO Jerry Sarvadi as the East Lothian venue gets set to stage the Rolex Series event for the fourth year running this summer.
Since being criticised by Rory McIlroy in 2019, a raft of improvements have been made to the course, the latest of which have involved three-time major winner Padraig Harrington in a consultancy role.
This year’s event is the first under a new five-year deal with luxury Korean car company Genesis and, after a spell when it was moved around Scotland, it now seems tournament chiefs prefer it having a permanent home.
“Let me address that - I’m glad that you asked that question,” said Sarvadi, replying to being asked if he felt frustrated at some of the comments often aired on social media about The Renaissance Club.
“I was a huge proponent of taking it around to the different courses. I thought it made a lot of sense and gave support to the local communities etc.
“But look at some of the other big events in golf. How long has The Memorial been at Muirfield Village? How long has the Arnold Palmer Invitational been at Bay Hill? How long has The Players been at Sawgrass. And, of course, Augusta with The Masters.
“On the DP World Tour, events are played every single year at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland and, of course, Wentworth with the PGA Championship.
“The reason is that the infrastructure requirements for today’s events are way bigger than they ever were. Go to St Andrews right now and then look at what that’s going to be like in a couple of months’ time. It’s a beast.
“You have to have capacity and we are fortunate in that respect. We’re also in the Central Belt and we also have the draw from the draw from the North-East of England.
“We’re lucky because we are in a good location and I did an evaluation on that before we started this. We had to be within an hour-and-a-half of a major airport and you had to be close to a big population.
“That’s one of the things where this property fits and, though I’m reluctant to say it, I believe this event needs to be here for a long time.”
Four of the current world’s top 10, including top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, have confirmed they will be playing in the 2022 edition, which is being co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour in a ground-breaking venture.
“Over the weekend, we had the chief executive officer of Genesis, Jay Chang, here and they are going to make this one of the biggest events, if not the biggest event in Europe, outside The Open,” added Sarvadi.
“Abrdn (the previous title sponsor) did a great job, but Genesis is a global brand and the event is also now co-sanctioned.”
Referring to the fans, Sarvadi said: “It’s their national Open and they need to come. The field is going to be unbelievable. They need to come and see these players - and there’s more to be announced!”